Friday, May 11, 2012

the Met


Every time is like the first time.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


{ava grace photography}

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to prepare a seven course French dinner? Well, Savannah of Ava Grace Photography did when she was planning a birthday party for her husband and photography partner Philip. Savannah enlisted the help of her sister and the birthday boy to create a menu that would make Julia Child proud. After two weeks of careful preparation, she chose an Alsatian cheese tart for the apéritif, soup à l'oignon gratinée, a fish course of red pepper rouille and shrimp toast, a watermelon sorbet palate cleanser, an entrée of Cornish hen coq au vin with garlic mashed potatoes an French cut green beans, et la pièce de résistance a heavenly flourless chocolate cake

Not only did Savannah share all the beautiful images from their gorgeous birthday bash, she was kind enough to post all the recipes she used for her delicious menu. Invites, menu and place cards were designed by the talented Hillary Butler, and the chairs, place settings, flatware and napkins were provided by Mahaffey Tents. Two weeks of intense planning certainly paid of for this happy couple. Even better than the elaborate spread are the smiles on everyone's faces. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunny Cups

{lindsay tarquinio}

I don't always eat breakfast in the morning (not good, I know), but I absolutely love breakfast food. I was the kind of kid who wanted to have pancakes during snack time and Eggs Benedict for dinner on a school night. I suppose growing up Filipino, the traditional American breakfast always appealed to be because traditional Filipino breakfasts are not so different from any other meal of the day; mostly savory with a hefty portion of meat or fish and sautéed veggies over steamed white rice, sometimes with a fried egg on top for good measure. So anyhoo, I'm always on the lookout for quick, easy and healthy breakfast options and found these baked egg cups on The Simple Delights. I think they look like sunshine in a breakfast cup, don't you?

Baked Egg Cups


12 large organic eggs

12 thin round slices of deli ham

1/2 cup of your favorite cheese (this recipe called for Parmesan)

1/2 cup diced scallions

Fresh cracked Sea Salt and Pepper


Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Lay a piece of ham in each hole creating a little ham cup.  Crack one egg into each hole and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the eggs for about 12 minutes, until the white is firm and the yolk is still nice and runny.

Carefully remove each egg from the muffin tin and top with grated cheese and scallions.  Serve hot.  Yield: 12

Bonus points, these baked egg cups are only 100 calories a cup and have 17.6 grams of protein each. Get yourself in the kitchen asap! I promise this is a good one.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


{jose villa}

Forget the pot of gold, I'll take one of each in a size 5, please and thank you.

Monday, May 7, 2012


{jose villa & elizabeth messina}

Good morning, dearies! It's a beautiful Monday, and I'm back from a week spent almost entirely unplugged. Chris came to visit last weekend and was only supposed to stay for a couple of days, but he decided to stay for almost the whole week. We were so caught up in our picnics, bike rides, and café and bookstore adventures that technology took a back seat. No computers, no tv, cellphones and email only in case of emergency-it was amazing. We even nixed the iPods and spun an eclectic vinyl mix of Edith Piaf, Bob Dylan, and the Cure. So lovelies, I apologize for the abrupt absence, but it felt pretty great to unplug. I'm off now to catch up on your wonderful blogs; I missed you most through the techno-strike! I snuck in a couple of comments on a few of your blogs last Tuesday while Chris was still sleeping-shh! Don't tell! Hope you've all have a wonderful weekend and that the sun is shining brightly wherever you are.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thanks, Universe.


Happy Friday, darlings! My fortune cookie the other day put a smile on my face, and it was just the little boost I needed after a busy week. I'm getting ready in the kitchen with some of Chris' favorite snacks for a picnic tomorrow afternoon. Crossing my fingers that the weather is kind. Wishing you all a beautiful weekend! Hope whatever you have in store puts a smile on your face.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Community Love

During their college years, Standard Authority printers Daniel and Chelsea worked together at a small bistro café called the French Bear in the northern Willamette Valley region of Oregon. At 'The Bear,' they developed a great love for honest and good-hearted cooking, embracing not just the fundamentals of a good culinary technique, but the beautiful sense of togetherness that can result from a great meal. The dynamic couple hope to see Standard Authority grow into a publishing and print operation to marry their love of design with the food and beverage community.

This beautiful spread immediately caught my eye because Daniel and Chelsea are such attentive and creative hosts. The rustic feel of the event was elevated by their great attention to detail in both the menu and signage. Chelsea designed and printed the napkins and menus before whipping up a simple, yet elegant feast of sea salt and pepper crackers, cedar grilled salmon and hollandaise sauce with grilled spring asparagus. For dessert, an incredibly refreshing coconut milk panna cotta with blood orange simple syrup, that's also vegan and gluten-free. Daniel manned the bar and shook up two delicious classic cocktails: a variation on La Floridita with light rum, Maraschino liqueur, fresh lime juice and agave syrup, and the Deep Sea Diver of citrus vodka, a squeeze of fresh lime, the same sweet blood orange syrup that brightened up the dessert, and a splash of cherry liqueur. It all came together with the help of Kimberly Brandt of Billede Design and was beautifully captured by the talented Sara Gray. All recipes can be found in the Spring 2012 issue of The Violet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pick A Card, Any Card

Mmm... beautiful, aren't they? I've long been a fan of Bespoke Letterpress Boutique and their delicious paper goodness. These beautiful business cards caught my eye right away in a sea of wedding projects. I can't think of anything more elegant than a letterpress business card. Can you?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pretty & Smart

{beaux arts photographie}

I call it, Closet of a Sexy Librarian.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sweet Scrub

Oh hey there, lovelies. How did the weekend treat you? The Garden State was drenched nearly all weekend, and Mother Nature still hasn't let up. Even though I spent most of the past two days running from rehearsals to lessons to auditions to church services in the rain, I loved it! I have a thing for downpours and thunderstorms, always have. Settling in after a busy weekend called for some quiet pampering, so I poured a glass of wine, enjoyed a long, hot bath with my favorite honey sugar scrub and gave myself a mani/pedi.

I may have shared this with some of you already, but it's worthy of a repeat. I love making my own sugar scrubs and since this particular combination is so easy to whip up, I always have it on hand.

Honey Sugar Scrub


1 cup organic raw brown sugar
1/2 cup organic raw honey (make sure it's absolutely raw honey,
not pasteurized or filtered honey)
8-10 drops tea tree oil


1. Combine raw brown sugar, raw honey and tea tree oil
in medium sized mixing bowl.
2. Transfer to a resealable container like a mason jar,
using a rubber spatula


Moisten your face with warm water to open your pores. Using a wooden tongue depressor stick, dispense approximately 1 tsp of your honey sugar scrub into your palm and dispose of the wooden stick. Very gently apply the mixture your face in a small circular motion, carefully avoiding the delicate skin around the eyes. The mixture is very course and excessive rubbing can irritate the skin. wait 1-2 minutes, then gently rinse with warm water. Rinse again with cool water to close the pores.
You can cleanse the skin with a gentle face wash before applying the honey sugar scrub if you wish. Raw honey contains natural antibiotics and tea tree oil is great for treating acne and acne scars, so it's up to you whether you feel the need to add the extra cleanser (I personally don't since I have sensitive skin). Always mix well before every use. When using and storing your honey sugar scrub, be sure not to get any water into the mixture and avoid dipping your fingers into the container as this can lead to the growth of bacteria, no matter how clean your hands are. Shelf life is approximately 2-3 weeks with proper use and storage.

So there it is, dears. Hope you get a chance to treat yourself to some 'me time' soon. If any of you try this or come up with your own favorite combination, do share! I'd love to hear your variations.

Friday, April 20, 2012


The warmer temperatures made gold my go-to accessory choice this week. I love arm parties on other gals, but my tiny stature makes 4 inches of bling on each arm look a little ridiculous. I think a couple of pretty bracelets, my favorite watch and my mother's earrings are just right. Happy weekend, dears. Hope the weather is just as nice wherever you are!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


This is what happens when your love for dinner parties starts at the age of nine and you grow up to be a brilliantly talented and successful photographer. Lukas had hosted his fair share of parties, church events and workshops over the years, but nothing was more fun than an intimate dinner party. His love for great conversation, delicious food and a wonderful excuse to gussy up the house came together in this beautiful evening planned for eight of his friends, both old and new. The vibrant yellow linens collected from the downtown LA Fabric District made a beautiful statement against the rich eggplant walls, and antique dinnerware and table decor from Fishy Finds made a bold contrast from the very modern palette. The chandelier is from Collectible Thrift in Canoga Park, California. My favorite part of this party is that the delicious eats were mostly from Trader Joe's! I love me some Trader Joe's.

So what do you think, darlings? Doesn't this make you wanna throw a dinner party this weekend?